Helping Residents Close Illegal Bar

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 3:49 p.m. May 21, 2020

A Toronto Police officer, who led the investigation into an illegal liquor establishment, has been recognized with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police’s (OACP) Outstanding Liquor Enforcement Award.

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Det. Constable Sunjeet Rangi won an OACP Award for an investigation into an illegal bar

Acting on complaints from the public and a Crime Stoppers tip, Det. Constable Sunjeet Rangi secured a search warrant for the warehouse in an industrial area in 13 Division. The investigation lasted almost 18 months.

“People were coming up to me on the street saying we can’t sleep well at night because of these non-stop parties,” he said. “I was also aware of calls for service for people overdosing in the area. Our night shift was being overwhelmed with unnecessary calls including noise complaints.”

Rangi’s hard work resulted in a corporation and seven people being charged with Liquor License Act offences and another person charged with offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

S/Sgt. Ishmail Musah nominated Rangi for the honour.

“In taking it upon himself to start the investigation, he liaised with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, worked with the Crown’s office and did a lot of work in the background to try to figure out this issue,” he said. “At the end, he got a search warrant approved that led to the shutdown of the illegal establishment.”

Now assigned to headquarters, Musah was in the 13 Division Community Response Unit at the time with Sgt. Peter Wallace.

He said patrons went to the illegal establishment after leaving clubs.

“This place, that would be open sometimes until 8 a.m. in the morning, charged a cover fee and sold alcohol,” Musah said. “Given it was a private business, we had issues about how police power could be used to enter the place because it wasn’t a licensed liquor establishment. We had to work with the different partners to come up with a solution and Sunjeet led the way admirably from the police end. Both myself and Peter agreed that he deserved the recognition.”

OACP Executive Director Jeff McGuire agreed with Musah and Wallace.

“Enforcing laws that regulate the sale and consumption of alcoholic products is all about ensuring Ontarians can enjoy such products responsibly and safely,” he said. “The hard work of police officers like Detective Constable Rangi is critical to community safety and well-being across the province.”

Joining the Service five years ago after working in an Accounts Receivable department, Rangi is a one-year secondment to Homicide.

“Policing is a career I always wanted to pursue,” said the University of Guelph-Humber Applied Science & Justice Studies graduate.

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